I think it would be fair to call me a nature appreciator. My sentiments of the great outdoors do not extend to full blown nature loving, but I definitely respect and at times even feel in awe of nature. However, when it comes to my appreciation, I do have my boundaries.
Sure, I can find a bug crawling through a display at a science museum fascinating, but I wouldn't want that same bug crawling through my living room. Similarly, although I would be amenable to petting a goat at a zoo every now and again, I certainly wouldn't want to live on farm and have to touch goats all the time.
For a city girl, I think my relationship with nature is quite commendable. I even agreed to bring an animal into our home several months ago. Although, getting back to the whole boundaries thing, when my daughters recently tried to reach out and touch our pet, I had to put my foot down. (Hey, nature is entitled to its boundaries, too.)
But a certain part of nature has been overstepping its boundary of late, leaving me frazzled and exhausted. Birds. Stupid, loud, annoying birds who for some ungodly reason, have been chirping at 3 o'clock in the morning every day, for the last several weeks.
For the record, I've always had pleasant associations with birds. I'm down with the whole flying thing, with relocating to warmer climates in the winter. Worm eating, not so much. But other than the occasional present they've left on my car, I've never had a beef with poultry.
But these friendly fowl are fouling up my life. And waking someone up is a pretty serious offense according to Jewish thought. In fact, it's considered to be stealing sleep (or gezel sheina in Hebrew) because when you wake up another person, you can never replace the sleep that you took from them.
Why, you ask, don't I just use ear plugs and stop kvetching already? Because I have two critters that my husband and I not only brought into our home, we brought into the world, and although they usually sleep without incident these days, with my husband rendered virtually unconscious during nighttime hours, someone's gotta be on call.
Perhaps the birds never adjusted to that unusually early time change we had in March. Or maybe all this kooky, frigid May weather is throwing them off. I guess I can't expect my feathered friends to work on character refining concepts like gezel sheina, but please oh please, can't someone teach them the difference between day and night?!